Following the Finish government’s decision to protect 85,600 hectares (856 sq km) of state owned pine forest in Northern Finland from industrial logging last December, a new win has helped build momentum for forest conservation. UPM, an international logging company specializing in paper products, has agreed to sell 380 hectares (3.8 sq km) of forest to the Finish state for the purpose of nature conservation. These swaths of land, some of which are connected and undisturbed, are a valuable addition toward to goal of protecting biodiversity in Finland.
By the numbers, these announcements mean that Finland is committed to:
* Protecting 80% of the 107,000 hectares (107 sq km) of pine forests in northern Finland.
* Engaging corporate enterprise in protected area strategies. UPM owns 900,000 hectares (900 sq km) of forest in Finland, of which 17,000 hectares (17 sq km) are designated for nature conservation purposes.
A bit about nature in Finland: Finland is a country of thousands of lakes and islands – 187,888 lakes and 179,584 islands. Forest covers 86% of the country’s area, the largest forested area in Europe. The forest consists of pine, spruce, birch, larch and other species. Finland is the largest producer of wood in Europe and among the largest in the world. The endangered Saimaa Ringed Seal, one of only three lake seal species in the world, exists only in the Saimaa lake system of southeastern Finland, down to only 300 seals today.